What are the best Bruce Willis movies? The cinema hero has been a working actor for decades, and it’s time to pay our dues to John McClane himself.
So, from Bruce Willis‘ time as a rugged cop in the Die Hard movies to M Night Shyamalan twists, we’ve picked out the creme de la creme when it comes to the action movies icon.
If you’re looking for a list of the best Bruce Willis movies on Netflix, home media, and the other best streaming services, we’ve got you covered.
The best Bruce Willis movies:
- Moonrise Kingdom
- The Sixth Sense
- Pulp Fiction
- Death Becomes Her
- Die Hard
8. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
The thing about every accomplished actor is that they eventually have an off-beat Wes Anderson flick in their pile.
A beautifully shot coming-of-age movie, Moonrise Kingdom is set in New England, in 1965, and concerns itself with young love. Two teens set out to run away together, while a scout party searches for them.
Sunny, nostalgic, and with typical Anderson flair, Moonrise Kingdom is an oddball in Willis’ catalogue worth seeking out.
7. Glass (2017)
This amalgamation of Split and Unbreakable was a refreshing crossover at a time when it seemed only superhero movies were stitching together the seams of individual projects.
Willis was joined by Samuel L Jacks0n and James McAvoy in a surprisingly tense and solid meeting of the minds that saw Shyamalan go head to head with the theme of belief, a topic that would continue to rear its head in the director’s filmography.
Willis is David Dunn, a humble father figure and souped-up do-gooder who finds himself locked up with Kevin (McAvoy) from Split and his old arch-nemesis, Elijah Price (Jackson). Glass avoids common trappings associated with comic-book-inspired movies and broaches fascinating ideas, even if a little clumsily.
6. Unbreakable (2000)
Unbreakable is certainly still a Shyamalan movie through and through, but it has a distinctly different flavour profile to it, thanks in part to Willis’ softer approach to his character.
A man with incredible gifts just trying to live his life and raise his son, David is forced into a conflict by Elijah, his physical opposite, who sees their battling it out as an inevitability.
With restrained action, inviting characters, and a grim final destination, Unbreakable is a gem among Willis’ more explosive pictures.
5. The Sixth Sense (1999)
Okay, we know, we know — we promise you there are actually movies from different directors coming, but the fact of the matter is a lot of Willis’ more chewy roles came from Shyamalan, and The Sixth Sense, the movie that cemented the director’s reputation for a third act revelation, is an important stepping stone in Willis’ career.
The thriller movie follows a frightened boy who seems to be able to communicate with spirits, and a child psychologist (Willis) is enlisted to investigate and help him. Moody yet warm, this one’s a must-watch for the pop-culture references to it alone.
4. Pulp Fiction (1994)
Willis’ role as Butch Coolidge isn’t exactly huge (we favour lots of Bruce on this list, don’t skimp on him), but omitting Quentin Tarantino‘s game-changing and inventive 90s movie just wouldn’t be right.
With an eclectic structure, enigmatic character, and a few iconic scenes, Willis may have not been around for the entire movie, but Pulp Fiction is still something everyone should see at least once.
3. Looper (2012)
Before Rian Johnson was ruffling feathers over in Star Wars or writing vegetable-themed whodunnit Netflix movies, he dipped his toes into dark sci-fi and one of the best time travel movies with Looper, the heady story of an assassin who is charged with executing his future self.
Willis portrayed the older version of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character, and oh boy were there levels to this film, not to mention the showstopping visuals, a thick atmosphere, and palpable stakes.
Also featuring an underrated Emily Blunt performance and a moving found family subplot, Looper is a treasure and one of the best science fiction movies of the 2010s.
2. Death Becomes Her (1992)
If you’re looking for something a bit more bold and creative, look no further than Robert Zemeckis’ camp gothic-horror Death Becomes Her.
The comedy movie may have released to middling reviews in the 90s, but is now firmly a cult classic, particularly with those who enjoy the incredibly camp turns from Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn, who play two ageing women obsessed with their vitality, and stealing Willis’ character — aptly named Ernest — from each other.
Ghastly old-school VFX, a playful script, and Willis as a meek plastic surgeon way over his dead make this a delight.
1. Die Hard (1988)
Come on now, what else? One of best movies of all time, Die Hard’s thrilling escapes, shoeless traversing, unforgettable villain, and romantic love story helped make it an instant classic.
There are a bunch of sequels, but none of them lived it to the elegant simplicity of the original, which sees a cop caught up in a hostage situation his wife happens to be a part of.
People keep going on about whether it’s a Christmas movie or not (it is), but who cares, let’s instead discuss how today’s blockbusters could take notes on its original and lean storytelling
For more recommendations, see our best Tom Cruise movies and best Keanu Reeves movies, or check out what new movies are coming soon.